Florida apartment complex includes Social Media Addendum in lease

Contracts are a necessity to the success of a business. They are entered into every day, sometimes with other companies and other times with individuals. An example of the latter situation is where an individual enters into a lease with a property owner. While the first thing that likely comes to mind when a breach of contract is mentioned in this context is the failure of the tenant to pay the landlord, it could arise should the resident fail to perform another element of the contract as well.

A Florida apartment complex has put an interesting spin on this.

As a part of the lease tenants sign, a "Social Media Addendum" has been added that forbids the resident from posting negative reviews or commentary on any social medical account, blog, website or internet-based publication. The penalty associated with a breach of this contract is a $10,000 fine. Subsequent offenses result in a $5,000 fine.

That is not the only thing that concerns tenants about the addendum. It also indicates that the complex owns the copyright of any photos taken of the property, apartments unit or owners.

It is unclear whether the apartment complex ever sought to enforce the addendum and whether the social media addendum is currently even in place. While a tenant said that he was not allowed to exclude it when he renewed his lease, the property management company responsible for the apartment complex claims that it, along with the current general partner had nothing to do with the addendum and have voided it for all tenants.

The thing to take away from this post is that breach of contract and other issues related to agreements between multiple entities are not always what one would expect. Because of this working with a lawyer is often a good way to proceed.